On the Beach at Night Alone (feat. Peter Spencer) – New Video

Another new video based on the Walt Whitman Songbook, from the new album by Craig Pallett.

From the Album ‘Walt Whitman Songbook’
Poem by Walt Whitman
Composed – Craig Pallett
Vocals – Peter Spencer
Percussion Performance and Arrangement – Jessica Collado
All Programming/Keyboards/Arrangement – Craig Pallett
Vocals recorded/engineered by Craig Pallett in August 2019 Montpelier, VT

Video Composite – Craig Pallett
Video Content – Pixabay, Peter Spencer, Craig Pallett

Copyright 2020 Affinity Systems (BMI)
Based on the 2019 Songbook of the same title available on Amazon.

Produced, Engineered, Mixed and Mastered – Craig Pallett

Laws for Creations (feat. Marjorie Halloran & Michael Garrett Steele) – New Video

Created a new video for the Walt Whitman Presentation Details below.

Vocals – Marjorie Halloran & Michael Garrett Steele
Percussion Performance and Arrangement – Craig Pallett
Halloran vocals recorded/engineered by Craig Pallett in February 2020 Montpelier, VT
Composed by Craig Pallett
Text by Walt Whitman
Copyright 2020 Affinity Systems (BMI)
Based on the 2019 Songbook of the same title available on Amazon. Produced, Engineered, Mixed and Mastered – Craig Pallett

New Buddha Album Released

December 6th 2020

New Album Buddha released.

Buddha – Craig Pallett

Meditations and reflections on images from ‘Celestial Gallery’ by Romio Shrestha.

Cosmic Fire: Vision of Rahula 5:25

Chakras: Vortices of Energy 8:13

Cosmos of Healing 4:50

Amitayus: Buddha of Boundless Life 4:51

Healing Buddha 10:23

Chakrasamvara: Wheel of Bliss 3:36

Paradise of the Medicine Buddha 7:02

Wheel of Deluded Existence 5:43

All music composed, performed and recorded by Craig Pallett.

Starting on August 28th 2020 for 14 days, I composed and recorded 14 works based on the images found in the book, ‘Celestial Gallery’ by Romio Shrestha. Eight of those works are in this release.

Warren Kenton – Jan 8 1933 – Sep 21 2020

My Spiritual teacher/mentor/advisor and friend, for the last 20 years, Warren Kenton, died this Monday September 21st at the age of 87 in London. He is more widely known as ‘Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi’ and is the author of 14 or more books on Kabbalah. I am so fortunate to have had his guidance at this stage of my life. He was the real deal.

Warren on a bench at Hawkwood College

I met Warren for the first time at the Open Center in NYC, in 2001. Chris had known him for years and invited me to a talk. What I remember from the encounter is, I simply told him I was a Buddhist, and asked him if I could study Kabbalah with him. Before this meeting, I actually didn’t have a clue as to what Kabbalah is. This was the beginning of many adventures to London and the UK.

Chris and I would regularly attend his Kabbalistic Summer School, held yearly in the English countryside at Hawkwood College in the Cotswolds, and would normally visit him at his London home each time we were in the UK. We had just purchased a new Pro Sony video camera, and we started taping his talks, maybe one or two each summer, all the while attending these talks as participants. We also taped other talks, in Boston, Vermont and Mexico. In 2010 Warren gave us permission to tape the entire summer school. By that time we were using 2 cameras and a Zoom mic. Warren would normally give 15-16 lectures over a 5 day period. This ended up being a massive task, since we were also attending, and the end result was over 50 hours of recordings. This was edited by us in 2011 and I created an online subscription site to view this video content. It is still online at http://kabbalahsocietyvideo.com/ We also started interviewing Warren in his London house, and many of his students and other events until 2013. We are currently working on a documentary about him.

Warren Kenton at Hawkwood

Until recently, for the last 14 years, I have been the webmaster and programmer for his organizations web site Kabbalah Society International . Chris and I also formatted and created all 15 of the Kindle editions of his work at Amazon . So between editing videos, formatting electronic versions of his book, and actually attending lectures, I probably know more about Kabbalah than I did 20 years ago.

I am going to miss Warren a lot on a physical level, but I’m sure he was ready for his next adventure. Much love to his wife Rebekah, and all his other students. I look forward to continuing to edit this new film about him, which will be a constant reminder of his teachings.

Posted in Zen

Walt Whitman Songbook – Album Released

August 6th 2020
Released new Walt Whitman Songbook.

Walt Whitman Songbook – A Song of the Rolling Earth
by Craig Pallett

The Earth’s Words (feat. Tiffany Pfeiffer)
Amelioration (feat. Philip W. Riegle)
Never Fail (feat. Kei Slaughter)
Three Hundred and Sixty–Five (feat. Stephanie Meyers)
Whoever You Are! (feat. Dawn Clement)
I Swear (feat. Mario Inchausti)
Tones of Souls (feat. Jo-Hannah Reynolds)
Laws for Creations (feat. Marjorie Halloran & Michael Garrett Steele)
On the Beach at Night Alone (feat. Peter Spencer)
France, The 18th Year of these States. (feat. Sarah LeMieux)

Composed by Craig Pallett
Text by Walt Whitman
Copyright 2020 Affinity Systems (BMI)
Based on the 2019 Songbook of the same title available on Amazon.

Produced, Engineered, Mixed and Mastered – Craig Pallett

Vocals – Tiffany Pfeiffer, Philip W. Riegle, Kei Slaughter, Stephanie Meyers, Dawn Clement, Mario Inchausti, Jo-Hannah Reynolds, Marjorie Halloran, Michael Garrett Steele, Peter Spencer and Sarah LeMieux

All Programming, Orchestrations, Arrangements, Digital Manipulation – Craig Pallett
Percussion Arrangements and performances by David Crigger, Jessica Collado and Craig Pallett
Additional performance by Steve Bartek and Leon Gaer on ‘I Swear’

Meditations for Violin TURNmusic Release Party Video

June 24th 2020
40 minute video created for the May 15th 2020 – Mary Rowell ‘Meditations for Violin’ release party. Full high resolution version, used by TURNmusic for the online event. First 10 minutes is a placeholder which allows viewers time to logon and access.

Mary Rowell & Craig Pallett – Meditations for Violin – Release Party – TURNMusic from Affinity Systems on Vimeo.

Meditations for Violin – Mary Rowell & Craig Pallett

Released April 13 2020

Meditations for Violin
Mary Rowell
Craig Pallett

Circle of Light – 17:38
Lisbon – 5:23
Blueberries – 10:26
Vermont Tornado – 12:46

Violin – Mary Rowell
Composer, Electronics, Programming, Keyboards – Craig Pallett
Produced by – Craig Pallett and Mary Rowell
Engineered and Mastered – Craig Pallett
Recorded October 2019 – Affinity Studios Vermont
Cover Design – Chris Demers

Circle of Light uses additional Midi data originally created by Steve Kaplan in 1987, re-programmed by Craig Pallett

Two Vermonters struggle to express the clear reality of the world we now appear to be living in. Sounds like a plot that can only thicken but I am not going to try. One of the worlds great violinist, stopped by the studio in October 2019 one day, and she recorded these four compositions I created for her. Just her violin and my Mac. Enjoy.

Vermont Tornado Video – Mary Rowell & Craig Pallett

Released April 12 2020

Mary Rowell & Craig Pallett – Vermont Tornado (Official Video)
Vermont Tornado
From the album Meditations for Violin

Vermont Tornado Video Credits
Video composite and editing – Craig Pallett

Live Video Credits
Premiere Performance
September 10, 2016
North Country Electronic Music Festival
ArtsRiot Burlington Vermont
Thanks to TURNmusic, Anne Decker, David Morneau, and Dennis Bathory-Kitsz
Video by Dennis Bathory-Kitsz

April 22, 2017
Performed as part of Composers Concordance & Goddard Riverside Community Arts
‘Generations VII’ concert
Goddard Riverside – Bernie Wohl Center, New York, New York
Featuring Mary Rowell – violin, Justin Kantor – cello,
Kaoru Watanabe – flutes, CompCord Guitar Quartet:
Thanks to Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper and Composers Concordance

Additional footage Pixabay

Walt Whitman Songbook @amazon

Whitman-FrontCover-579x760A Walt Whitman Songbook
A Song of the Rolling Earth for Voice and Piano

Music by Craig Pallett based on the Walt Whitman Text

Released on May 15th 2019
Now Available:
Direct from the composer for only $16.99 + $5.00 shipping

Or other International retailers such as
Barnes and Noble

A Walt Whitman Songbook contains 10 new musical works by Vermont based composer Craig Pallett. This songbook was created for Voice and Piano. It primarily explores Whitman’s work called A Song of the Rolling Earth, from the 1891-92 edition of Leaves of Grass. The composer has not altered the natural flow of the text. Due to the length of A Song of the Rolling Earth he has broken the text into 7 different songs. The composer has named these, The Earths’s Words, Amelioration, Never Fail, Three Hundred and Sixty-Five, Whoever You Are!, I Swear and Tones of Souls primarily to help the public and musicians reference each song. Though it can be presented as a full suite, performance time is 35 minutes, each song can stand on it’s own as an individual work.

Besides A Song of the Rolling Earth, the songbook includes 3 other Whitman works from Leaves of GrassLaws for Creations, On the Beach at Night Alone and France, The 18th Year of these States.

From the Composers Notes.

“I chose not to alter Whitman’s text in any way. This includes not repeating material or changing the structure of the actual text, both of which might make the works more “song–like”. I wanted to have a sense of churning piano rhythms and patterns with a folk–like melody. Whitman’s works that I chose are very rhythmically segmented verses many of them flow from one rhythmic structure to another. Sometimes only 2 verses flow in the same fashion, and then proceed into different ideas and forms. At times, there is a singular verse that has no rhythmic relationship to any other verse in his text.”

Zen Walk – Building New Music from Old MIDI Data

Thought it was time to write a new article about a new project that I just released, with Andy West, called Zen Walk. Andy and I decided to do a 5 tune release. We started several years ago, exchanging works which we thought might make a good package. We probably exchanged like 15 to 20 pieces to each other and decided to work on 5 of them.

Initial Project – 1989
Four of the Five pieces are actually from a project I created around 1989. My friend, keyboardist Steve Kaplan, asked me if I wanted to create meditation music for producer David Kershenbaum for a spiritual organization. So I proceeded to write like 10-12 new simple tunes, and convinced Steve Kaplan to show up at David Criggers studio, and we recorded one pass for each tune, of Steve playing a single keyboard, probably a Roland Jupiter 8 onto 2 track tape, and we recorded the Midi at the same time into a hardware based sequencer. All that still have of these sessions are the MIDI Files.

This is a Garage Band snapshot of Steve’s 1989 midi recording of the first 8 bars of one of the tunes called Beyond Words.

This is the actual lead sheet, Steve played from my sketches. A real simple melody with a few chords.

So at the time, I created 10 works designed for meditation, and eventually software like Sibelius arrived, and I translated all the lead sheets into Sibelius.
But besides a simple lead sheet, I have always had the original midi data, created by Steve to a synced click track, which allows you to open the data pretty much in any Digital Audio Workstation, and in either Sibelius or Finale notation software. Several of these works I have already used in other releases. So with Beyond Words, the original midi data is used to build the primary higher voice orchestration, both Andy and I decided to fully create this project using only Apple Logic, and use all the internal synthesizers and we built up these original tracks with a variety of different instruments, using MIDI filters to extract parts, and then expand them with different sounds and additional arpeggiated patterns. Andy for example, setup and programmed all the percussion sounds, and added an actual Electric bass, I created a secondary Wavy Organ part, and organized the over-all structure of the resulting track below.

True Freedom is a piece on my Ensembles CD, which is one of these original Steve Kaplan MIDI performances. True Freedom eventually became a multi-media piece for solo trombone, with additional musicians being added, Andy West on bass, Alan Kaplan on Solo Trombone, David Cossin played Live Drums and Percussion, and Ronnie Gutierrez played a variety of Hand Percussion, and I added 3 new Guitar Parts for Steve Bartek, an Acoustic Guitar, Electric Solo and EBOW Guitar. You can view this guitar score here… But I only used the original midi tracks and didn’t include Steve’s performance with release.

This is the eventual track which resulted, and was co-produced and mixed by Andy West for the Ensembles CD.

“Who Is That Who Is” was also originally one of these 10 works, and I re-orchestrated the original MIDI data into this eventual arrangement on the Tantra CD. It features Steve Bartek – Guitars, David Crigger – Live Drums, Leon Gaer – Bass, Steve Kaplan – Acoustic Piano Solo, Keyboards, Shelby Daniel – Vocals, Craig Pallett – Keyboards, Electronics.

For Zen Walk, Andy and I decided to use Steve’s actual recording, and the resulting MIDI data to re-create the tunes, Beyond Words, Heart Essence, A Point on the Wall, and Zen Walk.

zenwalkHandSo with the same process this original handwritten score for Zen Walk manifested into an actual score that we started with that looked like this. Zen Walk has this quarter note triplet melody, and originally used a simple bass part. Here is a original working track of Zen Walk before Andy and I started working on it for the actual release.

The Steve Kaplan tracks were scored and we started re-orchestrating, and this is a snapshot of the version above during the mid point, and looks like this.

Eventually Andy came up with a new highly dynamic bass line, we changed the speed, and started featuring an actual Acoustic Piano part. This is the final release track of Zen Walk.

So the new Zen Walk release features 4 of these tracks, that use Steve Kaplan’s original Midi recordings. Only “Echo” is a new West – Pallett work, and we have a few more new ones that push this direction forward that we hope to release soon, if there is enough interest.

Steve Kaplan, was a dear friend, an extraordinary musician, who is probably best known, for having composed the music for both the “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune” themes, playing keyboards on hundreds of Movie Soundtracks, and as a member of the group ZaZen. He unfortunately died in a plane crash in 2003, and I miss him a lot.

You can get a copy of Zen Walk today from Band Camp.
It will be fully released to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Tidal April 9th 2019

Posted in Zen